Pre-order new Fostex T-XO II planars for $180

Planar continues to be all the rage these days and if you are on the planar steam train and patience is one of your virtues, Massdrop is launching a new headphone (an “In the Works” product) and accepting pre-orders for $180, it is the Fostex T-XO II planar magnetic headphones. The $180 price is good until July 18 in 2019. After that, the price will climb to $220 which is its “regular” price.

One thing of note with this headphone is that it is tuneable in two different ways: it includes two sets of damping foam and two sets of earpads, so you have four theoretical combinations to experiment with. Make sure you have a notebook standing by 🙂

That part about patience being a virtue? I was not joking! The shipping estimate for this is March 2020, that’s EIGHT months from the blog-posting date 🙂

Monolith audio sale including planars, open-back & electrostatics

For a limited time only, the Monoprice website is having a Monolith Audio sale featuring a variety of their latest products including:

+ Monolith Electrostatic system: headphone with its side-kick amplifier for $630

+ M1060 open-back planars for $270, M1060C closed for $300

+ M565 open-back planars for $180

+ M300 planar earphones (it’s very hard to call them in-ears) for $100

+ open-back over-ear non-planar M600 for $70+

+ various amps, also Turntable for $200, and of course various cables

Headphone sale at B&H’s Mega DealZone

New York’s critically acclaimed B&H Photo is now running a limited-time MEGA DEAL ZONE sale. This is a sale that aggregates many of their previous daily deals, but they are all running live at the same time, in parallel. Think of it as a more convenient version of a Woot-OFF where you don’t have to be glued to the screen all the time.

Some of the participating headphones are under the “PRO AUDIO” category ~ the horizontal banner with the participating product categories. Among them:

+ Pioneer HRM-7 DJ headphones for $90
+ Sennheiser HD8 DJ headphones for $150

+ Westone W60 six driver IEMs for $500

+ Polsen HPC-A30 budget studio monitors for $15
+ Polsen HPS-A40 for $50

+ Tascam CD-200iL professional CD player for $250

+ various other products from Zoom, Tascam, Blue, etc

As you can tell, the above are more PRO headphones, the ones below can be found in the “Mobile & Entertainment” category and they are more consumer-y headphones:

+ JBL E55-BT bluetooth over-ears for $50
+ JBL Reflect Aware sport earphones for $45

+ NuForce BE Free8 truly wireless for $60
+ BE Sport3 wireless necklace-style earphones for $35 (Add to cart to see the sale price)
+ BE2 necklace-style bluetooth earphones for $15

+ Auray HPDS-8 headphone stand for $12

+ other audio-related assorted items, eg $14 Samson BT30 30-pin bluetooth adapter-receiver

EU: Sennheiser Momentum 2.0 Over-Ears for 100 euro [iOS]

From the looks of it this headphone may be doing its “farewell tour” of Amazon Germany, it is the new condition black color scheme with iOS remote control buttons of the closed-back over-ear Sennheiser Momentum 2.0 going for 100 euro with free shipping within Germany. Up to six per customer at the sale price. The other options are either sold out or more expensive…

Note that you can use the headphone with any device, it is not limited to iOS devices. The only downside of iOS buttons with other devices is that some of the remote control functions (eg volume control) may not work or not work as expected. Other than that, it is a 3.5mm input headphone…

PS: from the looks of it, Sennheiser must have settled the “Momentum” naming dispute in the US market, because as you can see at the US Senheiser website (en-us sub-domain) at select ex-Momentum product pages, you are greeted by this message:

MEE Matrix 3 Low Latency Bluetooth Over-Ears for $80

Mayhaps a price-match of the Best Buy daily deal, but Amazon actual is currently offering the new condition MEE Audio Matrix 3 closed-back over-ear bluetooth headphones for $80 with free shipping and handling with up to six per customer at the sale price. This is an apt-X low latency model, of interest for TV and video viewing as well. It has bluetooth 4.0 with apt-X and promises up to 24 hours battery life. It also plays music via 3.5mm input.

Note that there are multiple different models on the same listing, so you have to filter the customer reviews for this particular model…

Monoprice M600 Open Over-Ears for $70 w/free S&H

Curiosity may have killed the cat but it won’t kill your e-wallet if you are curious about Monoprice’s relatively new non-planar and curiously-named open-back over-ear M600 headphones. They are currently on sale for $70 with free US shipping at the Monoprice website

There they average 4.3 out of 5 but based on only three customer reviews so mayhaps of interest if you are the curious and boldly-going type. The only long review of the three is the 3-star review that brings the average down, written by a Sennheiser HD 600 fan, so you can get a good comparison. Said reviewer in there states that they are not big enough for his growing ears.

They are not stingy with the in-the-box accessories, you get a zippered carrying case, an extra set of earpads and a removable cable. The included accessories are shown on gallery picture #3 over there… One earpad set is velour, the other is leather (protein leather? it doesn’t say for sure). There’s no mic/volume on the cable but since it is removable you can use your own.

Sony XB950 Extra Bass sale: B1 for $125, N1 for $178

Also part of the previously mentioned Sony Summer Kick-Off sale you can get the following headphones as follows:

  • XB950-B1 “Extra Bass” (bluetooth, closed over-ears) for $125 to $128 in three color options
  • XB950-N1: same as above but with ANC as well, for $178 in two color schemes
  • WI-1000X neckband bluetooth earphones for $186 in black only

Sony WH-CH700N Closed ANC/Bluetooth Over-Ears for $128

The Sony Summer KickOff sale includes another headphone we didn’t mention before, it is the new condition WH-CH700N, a closed-back bluetooth with ANC over-ear model going for $128 with free shipping in your choice of black or blue. Limit up to three per color per customer at the sale price. The sale price is also available at various other participating authorized Sony USA dealers because that’s how a protectionist non-free market works 🙂

It also plays audio via 3.5mm, supports NFC for easier connectivity when there are “air wars”, works with the Sony “Headphones Connect” app, and charges through microUSB. NOTE that there are no touch controls – you have buttons on the earcups for play, pause, etc…

And as fate would have it, we have a text and pictures unboxing of this very model, going for less than half the price of the flagship WH-X1000 Mark III…

PS: the PORG is not included. It is our “blog pet” 🙂

EU: OKCSC M2 Open-Back breaches bottom of 59 euro

One of the “underground” open-back picks under $100 is the very pronounceable OKCSC M2 open-back over/on-ears and, as if this is a stock, it’s the first time I’ve seen it breach its bottom of 59 euro, it is currently just under 59 at Amazon Germany.

It’s a bit of a Grado homage, but unlike Grado, it does not come in a pizza box without pizza, but it comes with a zippered carrying case and a detachable 5M OCC silver-plated cable. Also unlike Grado, there’s some wood on it as well.

Having not seen this in person, I’m not quite sure if it’s over-ears or on-ears. Mayhaps that too is like the Grado on-ears which are a bit on the larger side of on-ears?

Monoprice Retro Closed Over-Ears for $20 w/free US S&H

If you are want a budget studio-ish headphone delivered to your door for $20, for a limited time, the Monoprice website is offering the new condition Modern Retro closed-back over-ears for $20 with free standard US shipping. Up to twenty pairs per customer at the sale price. It averages 4.5 out of 5 based on 150+ customer reviews at the Monoprice website and it has plenty of answered questions over there…

Keep in mind, despite the hype train, this is not a miracle/magic headphone. As reviewer Greg D. puts it,

“but I was hoping for a $200 sound in a $22 headphone”

If this looks familiar, it is probably because it looks like it has common ancestry with their Samson and Superlux cousins. And as fate would have it, we have a text and pictures unboxing of the Samson SR-850 which is a semi-open.

BOTE that this has a long-ass cable [yes, that’s a technical term], around 10 feet…

Monday: Beats Solo 3 Wireless for $175 [select colors]

Even though they are new condition, these come with a 90-day Woot warranty (instead of a 1-year Apple Beats warranty) so keep that in mind: good until Monday 6/10/19 at 11:59pm central, you can get the new condition Beats Solo 3 wireless (closed-back on-ears) for $175 with free shipping for Prime members or $6 flat shipping for non-members. Five different options are available during the sale. You can buy up to ten pairs at the sale price per shopping cart during this sale…

Master & Dynamic MW60 bluetooth over-ears for $297 to $350

Bluetooth headphones get a lot of hatorade by some in some of the audiophile online circles, but I suspect quite a few of those, deep in their audiophile caves, they use them for convenience and then bury them in their secret vaults when not in use so their fellow audiophiles do not catch them 😉

Which brings us to the Friday daily deals at Best Buy’s website where the new condition Master & Dynamic MW60 bluetooth over-ears are the headliner daily deal for $350 with free US shipping or free store pick-up where available and possible…

But that’s not all. It appears the price has been matched and slightly bested for a different color at amazon.com. The all-black goes for $340, the silver-brown goes for $347, while two of the $399 colors have a $50 off clip-on coupon dropping them to $349.

BUT WAIT, there’s an even lower price. The silver-red color scheme goes for $297, this too sold and shipped by Amazon actual and you can buy as many as you like. This color may be a bit of an acquired taste unless you are a red leather.

The color combo names you see are meta/leather. The first color is the color of the metal parts, and the second color is the color of the leather parts.

Note that this is a bluetooth 4.1 headphone with apt-X, so if you are a BT 5.0 or apt-X HD fan, this is not it. It promises a 16 hour battery life in the product description. It has tactile controls on the earcups and the earpads are removable. It also plays music via a conventional 3.5mm input and comes with cables and cable box and canvas pouch for the headphones.

They average 3.8 out of 5 based on 64 customer reviews. Per the product description, the rechargeable battery is LiPo (lithium polymer).

Just like other markets/industries, many of the traditional audio/audiophile brands were unprepared for the bluetooth avalanche and they are trying to play catch up now. As you can see at the top selling over-ears at amazon.com, there are a lot of combo ANC/bluetooth over-ears in the top of the chart from brands with no audiophile history or tradition: Cowin, TaoTronics, MPOW, etc. Of name brand interest though, there’s Bose and Sony. In an era of cascading bad news for Sony electronics, their WH-1000X line of headphones has been a big hit with some claiming that it even defeats Bose on ANC, which is one of the main raisons d^etre for Bose.

Speaking of which, the Sony WH-1000X Mark III is currently on a summer kickoff special for $298 at amazon.com and other authorized Sony USA dealers participating in this promotion. It comes with Alexa built-in, which I’m not sure if it’s a feature or a bug 🙂

Speaking of top sellers, did you know that Amazon also keeps a best selling list for Headphone Accessories?. Yes, we have arrived audiophool neighbors, when our accessories have their own best seller list, we made it 🙂

Okay, this post has gone out of control, all apologies for the never-ending rumbling 🙂

Pre-order Hifiman HE 4XX planars for $180 [MD]

Planar time! If you are tempted by the Hifiman HE-4XX planar magnetic headphones, Massdrop is currently accepting pre-orders for $180 with free US shipping. Over 12,000 units have been sold so far during their Massdrop run per their stats over there.

NOTE that these are pre-orders ~ the shipment estimate for this set is mid-July 2019, so patience is a planar virtue 🙂

Since they are a co-operation between the two companies, they come with a 1-year manufacturer warranty, which, given some recent Hifiman reliability history, it is a big plus…

Wednesday: JBL E55-BT Closed Over-Ears for $50

Wednesday 5/29/19 brings us some headphone action among the B&H Photo deals of the day, running until 11:59pm eastern time (or before then if it manages to sell out). It is the new condition JBL E-55-BT bluetooth headphones of the closed-back over-ears kind, going for $50 with free US shipping. Only the black color scheme is on sale at this low price. Some of the other colors are on sale for $75 when you “add to cart” but that’s a sale of their own, not linked to this daily deal that runs for 48 hours.

These have bluetooth 4.0 and also take 3.5mm audio input (1-button cable included). Note that this does NOT have NFC. NFC can be great when there are Bluetooth Air Wars in the areas you try to use your devices: multiple music sources and/or multiple music receivers ~ more so if you have more than one music source paired with a specific music receiver and they are both/all active at the same time 🙂

Tuesday (Bluetooth): Razer Hammerhead for $50, B&O H9i for $400

Two headphones are among the Tuesday May 28 daily deals at Best Buy punto com:

+ Razer Hammerhead bluetooth in-ears for $50 (necklace style)

+ Bang & Olufsen BEOPlay H9i ANC/bluetooth closed-back over-ears for $400

Free shipping and free store pickup where it is possible and available. Their shopping cart will inform you of your options…

Monday: Sennheiser, Skullcandy, Samson, JBL, etc

There’s a random headphone sale at Woot Electronics masquerading as an “Odds & Ends” sale for Monday 7/27/19, that features eight different headphones including the $7 Skullcandy Jib earphones and the $23 Hesh 2 over/on-ears, the $50 Sennheiser HD 471G (G for Galaxy/Android) and the $50 HD-250 II closed-back over-ears…

Meanwhile the B&H Photo Monday daily deals include the $14 Samson BT30 30-Pin Bluetooth Adapter/Receiver

EU: Sennheiser Momentum 2.0 On-Ears for 129 euro

Speaking of Sennheiser Momentums, their 2.0 closed back on-ears in the Brown color scheme with the Apple iOS button configuration is currently on sale for 129 euro by Amazon Germany itself with up to three pairs per customer at the sale price. This is not a lightning deal, so the price is good until it changes (in other words, I have no clue what’s gonna happen to the price). As of the time of writing, this is the only available option ~ the other colors/OS options are currently sold out by Amazon Germany actual…

Tribit XFree Tune ANC/Bluetooth Over-Ears for $47.50 AC

One of the headphones that has been trending lately in the budget ANC + bluetooth over-ears category is the Tribit XFree Tune which has a steady price of $50 but for a limited time, Amazon has a 5% off clip-on coupon, dropping it to $47.50. Not a big discount but if you were going to buy it anyway, that extra $2.50 can get you an extra budget cable or adapter or a FLAC song 🙂 The coupon is on the black color scheme of the headphone which averages 4.6 out of 5 based on nearly 750 customer reviews and it has over 200 peer-answered questions.

The headphones promise up to 40 hours listening time on a 580 mAh battery that charges in four hours (so an overnight or during office hours change). But they also have a 3.5mm input. A case that fits the headphones when folded is included [see customer pictures #5 and #6 for the case closed and open] and it comes with an 18-month warranty and 30-day money-back guarantee. Customer picture #15 shows what’s included in the package…

Monday: B&O BeoPlay H8i ANC/BT On-Ears for $300

It’s mayhaps a fashion headphones week (?) at the Best Buy website ~ mayhaps. Their Monday deal of the day are the new condition Beoplay H8i closed-back on-ears with the popular among the masses Wireless (bluetooth) and ANC (active noise cancelling) technologies, going for $300 with free shipping and/or store-pick where possible and available…

PS: the “Complete Your Purchase” at Best Buy has a rather strange propositional combo: this headphone and the B&W PX ANC over-ears and an HDMI cable and an 82″ 2160p UHD TV ^_^

Meanwhile Amazon customer darling Anker is back with another sale at Amazon Germany’s Gold Box which includes various size and capacity power-banks ~ of interest if you want to power your DAPs and PADs and portable DAC/amps on the go or if you prefer not to have a live electricity wire in your bed!

Sunday: B&W P9 Closed Over-Ears for $650

Good for Sunday May 19 in 2019, yes, that’s the Game of Thrones finale day, you can get the new condition Bowers & Wilkens P9 Signature closed-back over-ear headphones for $650 with free shipping or free store pickup at the BEst Buy website. It runs until 11:59pm in one of the time zones 🙂

Sunday Daily Deals: $23 Truly Wireless, B&O H9i, Razer Electra V2

It’s headphone day in some of the Sunday 5/12/19 daily deals. First up, there’s two of them at the Best Buy deals du jour, headlined by the new condition Bang & Olufsen BeoPlay H9i closed-back over-ear ANC + bluetooth going for $400 with free shipping… Also there, they have the Razer V2 Electra wired gaming headset for $35…

And at Woot Sellout, the new condition AirTaps truly-wireless earphones are on sale for $23 with free shipping for Prime members [you have to connect your Prime account with your Woot account ~ a one-time exercise]. They come with a 90-day woot warranty…

The offers expire at the end of the calendar day (11:59pm) at the local time of each retailer, eg Amazon is Pacific, Woot is Central, etc. Sometimes they may sellout ahead of time, in which case you may not be able to order them…

EU: Bowers & Wilkins P3 Series 2 Closed On-Ears for 95 euro

For a limited time (expiration time unknown) Amazon Germany is offering the new condition closed-back on-ear Bowers & Wilkins P3 Series 2 for 95 euro with free shipping in Germany. Limit up to six pairs per customer at the sale price…

Sunday: Rane over-ear headphone sale ($20 to $80)

Good until Sunday 5/6/19 at 11:59pm central time, Woot is running a Rane heapdhones sale featuring three models with prices ranging from $20 (RH-1) to $80 (RH-50). All three are closed-back over-ear models. This is the first time I hear of this brand but the product pictures remind me of familiar design (CAD/Tascam/etc)…

Tascam TH-300X Studio Headphones for $40 w/FS

Good until Monday at 8am eastern time [or earlier if sold out ~ unlikely), the current Musician’s Friend deal du jour are the new condition Tascam TH-300X studio headphones (closed-back, over-ears) going for $40 with free shipping.

PS: these are also sold under other brand variants, so google them up if you are curious or not familiar.

Monoprice Retro Semi-Open Over-Ears for $22.49 w/FS

Samson and Superlux are not the only ones selling these headphones. They go by some other brands, and from the looks of it, Monoprice too is on the game, and they are now on selling, their Modern Retro closed-back semi-open over-ears are going for the very specific price of $22.49 with free standard US shipping. Limit up to twenty per customer at the sale price.

Speaking of which, the Monoprice website is also having on sale the new condition Triple Driver In-Ears for $30 with free standard US shipping. Finally someone at Monoprice realized that their previous name of “XXX” had other …connotations. Limit up to twenty per customer as well.

Wedn: Sony WH-CH500 Closed Bluetooth On-Ears for $45

Part of the latest Sony WH line-up of headphones, and good until Thursday at 1am eastern time (or earlier if they sell out) are the new condition closed-back on-ear bluetooth Sony WH-CH500 offered for $45 with free shipping for Prime members [you must needs connect your Prime account with your Woot account ~ a one-time action] or $6 flat shipping for non-members at the Woot website. They come with a 1-year Sony warranty. Up to ten per customer at the sale price…

These are only bluetooth 4.2 with NFC, there’s no ANC with them. There’s no LDAC [not to be confused with LDAP], no apt-X, but they do support AAC ~ a minimum for any bluetooth headphone going for over $10 these days 🙂

I haven’t seen these, but I have used a larger model in this line-up, the WH-CH700N (N for Noise Cancelling) of which I have a text and pictures unboxing

Wedn: Pioneer DJ HRM-7 Studio headphones for $99

We have another headphone featured in daily deals. It is the new condition closed-back over-ear Pioneer DJ HRM-7, going for $99 with free shipping within the US at at B&H Photo until Wednesday at 11:59pm eastern time ~ or earlier if they happen to sell out… It includes two cables and an extra pair of velour earpads…

EU: Sennheiser HD 660S for 377 euro

Germany being the motherland of Sennheiser has its benefits. For example, the new condition open-back over-ear Sennheiser HD 660S is on sale for 377 euro with free shipping within Germany by Amazon Germany actual. You can buy up to three pairs at the sale price. This is not a lightning deal, so expiration time/date is unknown to me…

EU: Sennheiser HD 4.50 SE ANC/BT Over-Ears for 120 euro

This is an organic sale, not part of the daily deals. For a limited time, Amazon Germany is offering the new condition Sennheiser HD 4.50 Special Edition for 120 euro with free shipping in Germany. Limit up to three pairs per customer at the sale price with amazon.de as the seller of record.

This is an ANC and bluetooth closed-back over-ear with a 2-year warranty, It folds, has NFC and apt-X, bluetooth 4.0, 3.5mm cable, etc.

I’m not sure what the difference is between the SE (special edition) and the standard edition…

I’m still puzzled how big companies with expensive headphones can’t afford apt-X HD yet budget brands with headphones selling at a fraction of the price can #headphonemysteries

Tue (EU): Libratone, Victure budget DAPs, Klim Fusion

Spring is coming to the Amazon Germany daily deals until APR-15, and the Tuesday round of offers has some headphone sales as well:

+ Libratone Q Adapt ANC/bluetooth on-ears for 109 euro
+ neckband bluetooths for 134 euro
+ Q Adapt ANC earphones (Lightning cable) for 89

+ Victure budget digital audio players (mixed in with action cameras) ranging from 19 to 24 euro; the 19 euro model even comes with basic earbuds

+ Klim Fusion earphones and gaming headsets as part of a larger Klim gaming-theme sale. The earphones go for 15 euro in multiple spring-like colours, while the gaming headsets range from 30 to 52 euro

+ on the PAD side, there’s an Xperia XZ2 sale, the Compact goes for 399 while the XZ2 main goes for 599, with Android 9 available after they got released with 8. Of PAD interest, these are IP68, have a microSD slot, 64GB on-board storage, SnapDragon 845, apt-X HD, bluetooth 5.0, QC 3.0, NFC, USB OTG, USB-C Type 3.1, etc. Note however that they DO NOT have a 3.5mm headphone jack…

Monday (EU): Sony Audio Sale (headphones, DAPs), Beats X, and More!

Audio is YUGE for Monday at the Amazon Germany Gold Box that is headlined by a big Sony Audio sale that includes (among others):

+ NW-A916 A45 digital audio player for 125 euro in various color options

+ H900N ANC/bluetooth over-ears for 174 euro in many color options

+ WI-1000X neckband bluetooth earphones for 174

+ NW-WS414 waterproof mp3_player/earphones AiO for 79 euro

+ also bluetooth and other speakers and car audio options

But that’s not all when it comes to audio. There are parallel sales on Anker/Soundcare headphones and bluetooth speakers, and 49 euro Ultimate Ears bluetooth speakers in many delicious colors, and a couple of Arbily sub-50 bluetooth earphones too.

Apple too is part of the sale as their Beats X neckband bluetooth earphones are on sale for 74 euro in two color options.

Denon too is part of this sale with a couple of bluetooth speakers and a couple of receivers… And there’s a few Huawei P20/M20 type of phones of PAD interest…

Sunday: Senal SMH-1000 Studio Headphones for $45 w/FS

If you want to try on a different brand of studio headphones, B&H Photo’s house brand Senal is offering the new condition SMH-100 closed over-ears for $45 with free US shipping until Sunday APR-7-2019 at 11:59pm eastern time.

These take the studio headphones more seriously than most, they can with removable twisted-lock cables, include two different cables (one short straight, one long coiled), replaceable earpads, and a 3-year warranty to boot.

Marantz MPH-1 Closed Over-Ears for $30

Good until Sunday at 8am eastern (or earlier if sold out) you can get the new condition Marantz MPH-1 closed-back over-ears as the Musician’s Friend Stupid deal of the day. These are studio-ish style headphones and looking at them it reminds me of some Tascam/CAD models, but I haven’t mapped them out yet…

Monoprice 8323 with Bluetooth Over-Ears for $23 w/FS

If you are looking for a budget or utilitarian type of a bluetooth headphone and with free shipping to boot, for a limited time, the Monoprice website is offering the new condition 8323 with bluetooth for $23 with free US standard shipping. Up to twenty pairs per customer at the sale price. This is based on the good old 8323 closed-back over-ears, with the addition of bluetooth (supports apt-X as well).

On the other hand, if you are a fan of wired in-ears, they also have a limited time sale on the new condition HR-3 Triple Driver IEMs for $45 with free standard US shipping.

Also continuing is their Quarter End sale that includes some of their more audiophile-friendly headphones:

  • M600 open over-ears for $90
  • M560 open over-ear planars for $170
  • M1060 open over-ear planars for $250
  • M300 planar earphones for $100
  • various other items on sale as well

Focal Elear Open Over-Ears for $549

IF you are looking to get the open-back over-ear Focal Elear in new condition, as of the time of writing, Amazon actual is offering them for $549 per pair. You can buy as many as you like at the price. This is not a lightning deal, so there’s no public expiration date…

FOCAL has multiple options these days on the open-back front and of course the competition is not sitting idly either. Check your favorite forums and websites if you need ideas on what to pick and what to avoid…